10+ Wonderful Winter Books for Children and Activities
I do not know what the weather is like in your neck of the woods, but it has snowed here more than once. According to the calendar, winter is not here, yet. If you look outside, you might see bare trees, snow, and holiday decorations. Therefore, I created this post of some of my favorite children’s books and activities about winter. Enjoy!
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As a former elementary school teacher, librarian, and getting my Master’s Degree in Reading, I want to share a few secrets about buying books for the classroom/library/home.
Make sure to check for age restrictions on books that have detachable parts, or any components that would be dangerous for children under 3.
- Board Books are less expensive and more durable books. They tend to be smaller, and sometimes, they do not include all the content of the original version. Board books are great for birth – ages 3 or 4 depending on your child. These work well in classrooms, libraries, and home. (Make sure these books do not have detachable parts.)
- Hardcover Books tend to be more expensive, but they tend to be more sturdy, larger and will hold up longer. Hardcovers tend to work well in classrooms and libraries where 3 to 4-year-olds and up can get there hands on a copy. For home, these are wonderful books that you can read to younger children on your lap because of the bigger size. This is also great for teachers for their read-aloud collection that can be used year after year.
- Paperbook Books are less durable, tend to be a bit smaller (not as small as board books). However, I am a strong advocate that if you treat children how to handle books gently, and turn the pages, you can get more books to add to classrooms, libraries, and home. Show and demonstrate to your child how to handle books.
No matter what choice you use, you can have a Boo Boo Bin. Make it look like an ambulance or hospital. Explain to the children that when the book gets a Boo Boo (tear, broken binding…) put it in the bin. Then use tape to fix rips. If the binding is broken, you will probably need to replace it. Making sure your reading space has NO writing utensils nearby. This will tempt kids to add their own pictures and words to the story.
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10+ Wonderful Winter Books for Children and Activities
1.The Snowy Day (ages 2-6) by Ezra Jack Keats is one of my all-time favorite books. Peter, a little boy, wakes up to a winter wonderland with snow everywhere. Over his day, Peter creates different types of tracks in the snow, builds a snowman, and creates snow angels. The Snowy Day has won the prestigious Caldecott Medal, E.B. White Read Aloud Award, and Indies Choice Book Award
Writing Prompt: What kind of activities do you do on a snowy day? Draw pictures to accompany the text.
Play: If there is snow outside, make a snowman, snow angels, sled…
2.Winter Eyes (ages 5-10) by Douglas Florian is a collection of winter poetry. The table of contents describes all the different aspects of winter in forty-eight selections. Douglas Florian not only wrote the poems but he also painted the pictures. I loved the way this book combined the beautiful paintings with rhythmic poetry. This is a must-read. My favorite poems were “Sled”, “Untitled”, and “Figure 8”.
Writing: Create a poem about winter. It can be a poetry style that you are teaching such as Limerick, haiku, cinquain, or acrostic. Winter Eyes was on the List of Notable Children’s Books in Lang. Arts (NCTE) and Riverbank Review Magazine’s Children’s Books of Distinction Award Nominations.
3.Snow (ages 3-7) by Uri Shulevitz is charming and rhythmic. A little boy explores the city on a snowy day with his dog. The illustrations are comical and captivating at the same time. This book earned several awards including being a Caldecott Honor book, School Library Journal Best Book of the Year, Booklist Editor’s Choice, and Publisher’s Weekly Best Book of the Year.
4.Snow is Falling (ages 3-8) by Franklyn M. Branley and illustrated by Holly Keller provide simple non-fiction explanations of what snow is, and what it does for the earth, people, animals, and plants. The illustrations show how each snowflake is different under a magnifying glass.
Science: Talk about how water makes, snow, and ice. Do experiments with water, snow, and ice. Measure the temperature in a tree, underground, and inside the classroom and discuss the differences. Why are some temperatures higher/lower, etc.?
5.Snowflake Bentley (ages 6-10) by Jacqueline Martin and illustrated by Mary Azarian chronicles the life of Wilson Bentley from Vermont. He became a world famous snow authority and established a technique called microphotography. It has won the prestigious Caldecott Medal Book and ALSC Notable Children’s Books.
Science: Talk about how water makes, snow, and ice. Do experiments with water, snow, and ice.
Art: Cut out different sized/shapes snowflakes.
6.The Mitten: A Ukrainian Folktale (ages 2-7) was adapted and illustrated by Jan Brett. In this delightful retelling, Nicki wants his grandmother to knit him white mittens, but she does not want to because she is afraid they will get lost in the snow. Lo and behold, Nicki promptly loses his mittens in the snowy terrain. One by one, each of the winter animals tries to find a warm and cozy spot inside one of the mittens. This is an adorable book that can be loved by children of varying ages.
Math: Sequencing (which animal came first, second, etc.), How many animals fit inside the mitten? Which animal was the largest/smallest…?
Science: Read and learn more about the winter animals that are featured in this book.
7.One Winter’s Day (ages 3-8) by M. Christina Butler and illustrated by Tina Macnaughton is an adorable and enchanting story about the warming power of friendship. When you read this book, the children can touch and feel Little Hedgehog’s hat, scarf, and mittens. Little Hedgehog travels through a blizzard helping all of his animal friends along the way. Suddenly, Little Hedgehog is in need of rescuing. Will his friends come to his aid? I loved the delightful illustrations and the sweet story of friendship! This would work well for a friendship unit as well.
Language Arts: 1) Ask the students what they wear when it is cold outside. The students can draw pictures. 2) Friendship Unit: ask the students how they share with their friends. Brainstorm what the students what kind things they do for their friends.
8.Bear Snores On (ages 2-6) by Karma Wilson and Jane Chapman is an amusing little story about some animals that seek sanctuary in Bear’s den during a snowstorm. What will happen to the furry intruders when Bear wakes up? The drawings and text complement each other to create an endearing tale. This book would also work with a bear or friendship unit.
9.A Hat for Minerva Louise (ages 3-6) by Janet Morgan Stoeke is the delightful story about a curious little white hen who looks for a warm hat on a snowy day. Join Minerva on her entertaining quest through the barn and snow. The simple large text, along with expressive illustrations, makes this a great winter read for young children.
10.Stanger in the Woods: A Photographic Fantasy (ages 4-8) was created by Carl R. Sams II and his wife Jean Stoick. Sams and Stoick created an enchanting story filled with captivating photographs of winter wildlife. Who is the Stranger in the Woods, and what is so special about him? This book has been on the New York Times Bestseller list, the International Reading Association Award, Ben Franklin Award along with approximately 80 awards in total.
11.Animals in Winter (ages 3-9) by Henrietta Bancroft & Richard G. Van Gelder, and illustrated by Helen Davie is a great follow up to The Mitten or A Stranger in the Woods or any other winter book involving animals. As a non-fiction selection, this book discusses what animals do during the winter months. Birds, butterflies, groundhogs, foxes, mice, rabbits, and deer are some of the animals that are included in this book.
Science & Language Arts: Learning about what animals do during the winter. This can be a research project. Each student will select a different animal, and read two to three articles/books about that animal. Then, they can create a diorama, web, other project representing – the animal- if they are a mammal/reptile/amphibian/fish-diet-habitat-habits
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Other Great Winter Books for Children (click on the covers to learn more) These make great holiday gifts! 🙂
also seen in Booknificent Thursday Link Party #244